Casino Virgin

Despite the fact that in the past eleven weeks I’ve played forty tournaments, a couple city-sanctioned “timed tournaments without one blind level” and a few home cash games, I had never played poker in an actual casino until last night.

I’m still not sure that’s not true, because the casino I played in was a tribal establishment where the “Poker Room” was more of an alcove off the rows and rows of slot machines in the main hall. There was a single table playing $1/$3 Limit Hold’em at 10pm on a Sunday and I put my name on the list, went to the bar to get a beer, and waited for someone to get tired or broke. I read news on my iPhone for about thirty minutes, then took my place with $60 between the oldest player at the table and a lady with an impressive rack of $5 tokens.

I played tight for the most part—it took me a while to figure out the betting structure of $8 max raise—although I did pull down one pot with a complete bluff holding 8T when an A? hit the turn. I managed to get up to about $90 before a couple of good hands were outdrawn and I tumbled to only $25.

I split a large pot holding K9 with the oldest player on the same ranks but unsuited, then played A6. Several players were in for calls of $16 on a flop with QJ?8?. I stayed in with one other player for the turned T. He pushed to the max and I called plus put in my last chip when a K hit the river. I thought for sure he’d hit the flush when I turned over my ace for the straight, but he had Q?9? for a pair on the flop and a straight on the turn, but I’d snuck through with the Broadway draw. With the money from the other players’ early action I more than doubled up and left at midnight with twice what I’d bought in with.

90 minutes. ROI: 100% (including tips).

First of July

Aces Player’s Club $10K Guarantee (10,000 chips)

My club card was full, so I didn’t have to pay the door this evening. Got sat down at Table 4 Seat 2, so I had the first SB.

Got off to a decent beginning playing KJ against one of the players on the far end. Hit two clubs on the flop and made a flush on the turn; was just a card away from a royal flush. Up to 11,800 chips by 0:15.

Seat 4 tried to represent a strong hand on my first BB when I was holding 9?9?. Top card on the flop was T? and I kept playing back, calling several thousand in raises by the river. He couldn’t beat my pair and I was up to 15,725 by 0:25.

Called a raise to 525 with AT, then folded after a re-raise and all-in behind me. The re-raiser had J?J? and the all-in was holding K?K?. A river K? just sealed that one; my hand never improved.

Holding A5, I called a raise of 500, then folded after an all-club flop was raised.

At 45 minutes I was still holding 14,000.

A late arrival to the table in Seat 1 was talking about a couple of wins he’s made a few weeks back and it turned out he was the giant stack at the Encore’s $10K who took me out with sixes. Apparently he’d also won the Aces $10K the night before that.

Playing Q?T? I got a straight draw on the flop but had to push and bluff the Beast inSeat 1 and another player off the flop.

My 89 made top two pair on a flop but a 7? on the turn made the straight for another player’s J?T? and I lost several thousand hoping for a full house.

A Mutant Jack AJ made a straight on the turn, angering some of my fellow players.

By the first break (at one hour) I was at 9,500, having recouped slightly after the big loss. The 5K add-on took me up to 14,500.

Folded 1,000 with Q?J? and a straight draw on the turn after getting priced out, then lost another 800 with A?T? when the board had a lot of full house possibilities but not for me.

As BB with K?7?, I called a raise to 1,000 from the Beast, hit middle pair on the board, then raised 600 and got him to fold. He was knocked out by someone else shortly after that.

Gambled on 78 on a K?K?7? board and was beat on the river by a flush.

Went all-in with a bunch of limps ahead of me holding 5?5?. Only caller on the final bet of 5,700 had A?7?. Bombs fell all between his cards but my pair held up and I was up to 13,80 by 1:55 in the game.

Called a raise of 1,200 with J?T? and had to bail after the flop.

Went heads-up as SB v BB with a low pair on the board but BB made trip kings and I lost about 4,800.

Laid down K?T? on a flop with Q?Q?. Would have made a straight and won by the end of the board.

At 2:15, I was down to only 5,600 chips and got A?K? on the BB. I went all-in, a bigger stack called, and a smaller stack was in, too. The big stack had 8?8?, the small stack had just 4?5? but the board ran low, putting another 8? on the flop for the big stack and a straight to the 8? for the small stack.

160 minutes. Finished 48th of 70 players. -100%ROI (including buy-in and add-on).